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After the Marathon: SSD and Replaced Keyboard

Since it seems I’m still not getting around to writing about the marathon itself and I signed up to volunteer at the Botanical Garden this autumn as well and I’ll be going there in the morning, let me at least try to go over the days after the race, starting from October 15. Yes, I also turned 34 then, but I don’t care about that… And was too exhausted to care too much even about the fact that I was woken up by knee pain a couple of times, just trying to somehow move it, referring to the left one, a little bit, until it hurt a little less, and then falling right back to sleep, only actually waking up in the afternoon, never needing to get up to go to the toilet before then either. Still, even though I did have some difficulty moving that day, the worst problem had to do with my upper lip, which was awfully chapped and just cracked if I tried to even open my mouth enough to eat, or to speak for that matter, probably in good part due to the wind. It’s quite fine now, finally, but for a few days it was quite a problem, despite trying to use some moisturizing cream too. On that first day there was a moment when I looked in the mirror when I went to the bathroom and wondered why was my lip dirty, before realizing that was dried blood due to it cracking like that.

That good sleep didn’t repeat itself next morning though, as it wasn’t even 8:45 AM when I woke up to pee the second time and couldn’t get back to sleep, thinking of the issue with the network I’m in and the potential consequences of paying or not paying for that equipment upgrade. Got up after about one hour of that and wrote an e-mail to dad, since it’d have been way too much to write on a note and leave it on the kitchen table, and at 10:15 AM I was just sending it and thinking to go pee again and then try to get back to sleep when he woke up. That meant I just went right back to bed, without going to the toilet again, since I didn’t want to bump into him at that moment, and that made it even less likely to manage to sleep again, so I just got up for good some time after 11 AM, when he left.
It still ended up being almost 2 PM when I went out, taking out the recyclables and going to Kaufland and Carrefour. Got just two things from Kaufland, thinking I had just enough coins to get only bills back, but found that I was missing 0.05 RON, which I later found had fallen in my room. Still, the cashier had some coins left in front of her and I quite boldly pushed one before her and said it’d be exact change if she’ll take one of those too, which she did, though at first she said those were for something else, to which I said that in that case she could just give me back my coins and also the rest in change, which I guess she didn’t want to bother with. Did spot a 0.05 RON coin behind another, unused, checkout as I was leaving and thought to try to grab it and turn around to give it to her, but it’d have been hard to reach and decided against making myself even more noticeable. So just continued to Carrefour, got a couple of things from there too, and after checking out somebody doing a survey approached me, so I guess I got the opportunity to make a few recommendations… And also to get confused about my age, since at first I said I was 33, then corrected myself, also saying that I got it wrong just because I had just turned 34 the day before. Wonder why the area around the National Arena was closed though, making me go around on the way back. Hadn’t paid attention at first, since going to Kaufland first meant I went around it on the other side anyway, but on the way back I walked up to the gate and saw that it was closed, so had to go back and then around, seeing people gathered at the other entrance and at first thinking it was for the under 21 national team’s match, but that was in Ploiesti…
Went back out just before 5 PM, but thought it was 6 PM, so meant to take the free bus to Auchan but ended up walking, since I ended up outside after it should have passed, and it wasn’t late. Did catch another one just after the park though, to go the last part of the way like that. Also had the plastic bottles, plus one can, which had gathered with me, but the machine was broken again, so just left them there again. And before going into the hypermarket I bought another Paysafecard code, which I used for Celestian Tales: Old North and the Howl of the Ravager DLC after getting back. Then I purchased quite a lot of things, since it’s their anniversary period now and there are good prices for plenty of things. Got to actually picking up everything, no longer just browsing and calculating, just five minutes after a free bus should have left, so with 30 until the next, but just got to the checkout with six minutes to spare and got out of the checkout area one minute after the bus should have left. Tried to rush after stuffing things in my bags a bit more as fast as I could, hoping to catch it at the other exit, but there was no trace of it when I got there. Not entirely sure it left at all though, since somebody was wondering out loud about that number when I got to the stop, and a couple of people looked after one that just drove past without stopping, thinking it was the one they needed. And then the next one, which drops me off some distance away, was five minutes late, but at least it came and I could get back, since walking with all of that would have been quite a problem. Got back around 7:45 PM or so, and when I turned on the computer’s monitor I saw a logged blackout at 7:22 PM, lasting a minute and 40 seconds.

Getting back to Monday, since it was three weeks since taking my keyboard to be fixed and I hadn’t heard anything, I sent a message to the store to ask what was going on and minutes later I got notified that I’ll get the money returned, either to use for another order or in an account. I sure thought it’d be easy to fix, but apparently not, and at the time I was quite worried, since I had purchased it on sale, so that amount wouldn’t have covered much anymore, and either way the options for a wired keyboard with the standard US layout and which isn’t black can be counted on one’s fingers, not even needing all of those from one hand if you want some additional functions too. Still, with nothing else to do, I asked if I could give someone else’s account, being told the next day that I could. But when I checked again then, I saw that the keyboard showed as being available again, after having been out of stock everywhere until then, so I pointed that out and again asked why couldn’t it have been repaired or replaced.
As a result of that, Wednesday I got a call, the person who called saying they understood from my message that I wanted to order another one of the same model. Not sure how they understood that, but sure, I could get another one, the problem being that it’s not on sale anymore. But after checking she said she’ll sort that out, so I’ll get it at that same price, in exchange for the money which should have been returned for the defective one, so in effect it’d just be a replacement. Did ask again why couldn’t that have been handled under warranty and she just said it couldn’t be fixed, but in fact I got the better deal this way, since this one has the warranty as a new product and I didn’t pay anything else for it. Plus that they delivered it for free too. She actually caught me by surprise when she said that and asked me to confirm my address, since I expected to have to go pick it up… And then she also amused me after she set the phone aside to work on the order and likely forgot about it, since I ended up waiting for some ten more minutes before finally hanging up, after hearing her talk to someone else about how much a kilogram of something cost and laughing out loud. Sent another message then, saying it seems she forgot about me on the phone and asking about the warranty and an estimated delivery date, and instead of a reply I got yet another call the next day, being told all details had been given to me the day before, but finally having those questions answered when I asked them again on the phone.
Thursday evening I got a message stating that the package had been sent to the delivery company and this morning, a bit before noon, the delivery guy called, waking me up. So I threw my pajamas off and my training shirt and boxers on, then ran to turn on the intercom with my pants in my hand, finding that it was already ringing when I pressed the switch. So opened the building door, threw my pants on too, and thought I was ready for the guy when he got to the door. Found that I wasn’t though, since he asked for the series and number of my ID card and I didn’t have that, so I had to go back to my room and get my card. Invited him in, but he said he’ll wait at the door, so at first I tried to just walk away, but Micky wanted to go out, so after trying to hold her away for a few seconds I turned back around and closed the door, opening it again when I got back. Still, that meant the guy got a good look at my back when I first walked away, so must have noticed that my shirt was on backwards, yet I only noticed that after getting back to my room and connecting the keyboard, after opening the boxes in the kitchen.
The thing is that it may just be my keyboard, or at least the one sent to replace it by the manufacturer. Didn’t write down the old one’s serial number, and this is very clean anyway, but the box had a second seal, even that being torn away, placed on top of one which had been cut, so the keyboard is clearly not actually new, and now it shows up as completely out of stock again, meaning that this was the only one even their supplier had. It’s possible that it was some miscommunication, but there’s also a chance that this whole thing was an attempt by the store to make it appear that they’re the ones who sorted things out instead of the manufacturer, or even an attempt to be left with one to sell, even as a resealed product, if I wouldn’t have noticed it to ask as I did, since it had originally been purchased on such a deep sale. But as long as it was sorted out and it works, it’s all good, and I have a new warranty for it in case of problems later on, so if they did try to gain something from it, they were actually the ones who ended up losing.

Back to Monday one last time, that evening I also finally ordered the SSD I had my eyes on, since it would appear that the market is being flooded with this model lately and prices dropped a whole lot. I first planned to get a 250 Gb SSD back when I got this computer, but after being torn between first three or four and eventually two models, at the time I had more or less settled on the 850 Pro, yet that series became quite pointless when the 860 Pro was launched and it no longer came with the ten-year warranty, yet still remained way more expensive than the Evo, which in turn also had the write limit increased. So over time I had finally settled on the Evo and even though I meant to wait until next year to buy one, I’ve been keeping track of prices and now they were too good to pass on the opportunity, since I had enough money set aside. It ended up costing only about 40% as much as the 850 Pro used to cost when I first meant to buy it.
The order was made from this smaller store that moved even nearer recently, and Wednesday I got the message that I could go pick it up. They had free shipping for an order of this value, but I decided not to make them cover the costs for that when I can just walk there to pick up a small item, and that was a good choice since after seeing the message I remembered that I no longer had any spare SATA cables, so if I’d have received it then I’d have been unable to connect it. So I sent them a message asking whether it came with a cable, since some do, or if not then if I can add one, adding the link to the cheapest one in their offer, and just come when they’ll both be ready, since the site said the cable would take four days to arrive. Well, got no actual reply to the message, but my order was changed to have a cable added to it, at first being added as a service, then the entry being renamed to “SATA III cable” and then renamed again to just “SATA cable”, the price being listed as zero and the order remaining listed as ready to be picked up. That made me wonder whether it did come with a cable and they just wanted to let me know by doing that or somebody just looked around, grabbed a spare cable and threw it alongside the SSD, possibly not being certain that it was a SATA III one and not something older.
So the next day I went there after waking up and at first just had the SSD brought to me. When I pointed out that there was supposed to be a cable as well, the receptionist went to the back and shouted to someone that he forgot the cable, at which point I noticed that she had their cat curled up on the chair, so she was just sitting on the front edge of it, and that was where she sat back down when she returned. Two guys came then as well, one pointing out that the invoice just said “SATA cable” and they had a whole lot of such cables, no way to know which one and bring it, plus that it was listed as costing zero, so there could be no cable in the order. I said that it was added manually like that after I sent a message to ask whether I could add a cable, with a link, and also told them an approximate price, though I actually knew the exact one at the time I had sent that message, and at that point the other guy put a box of cables on the desk and the one who had been talking just grabbed one, still in its sealed bag, and handed it to me, asking if that was fine, and when I mentioned the price again he waved it away, saying that if the invoice says zero, it costs zero. So I left with my stuff, but then went right back after taking a few steps and noticing that the serial number on the warranty certificate didn’t match the one on the product, the receptionist, who had actually checked the part number but obviously not the serial as well, just crossing out the one on the certificate and writing the correct one, then stamping next to the change to make it official, saying they have many of them and it’s hard to grab the right one, but it wouldn’t have been a problem either way. Now one could call these things unprofessional, but as long as they were sorted out right away and with a smile, to me they just make them more, well, human, for lack of a better term.
The scary part came after that though, since I was too scared to put it in. Still, eventually first backed up and finally installed this month’s Internet Explorer update, and also the SSD’s software, then rebooted, then after checking that things seemed fine I turned off the computer, opened it and struggled to get the SSD in. Would have been much easier if I’d have connected the cables first, but thought it’d be too hard to squeeze my hand down there like that, the 2.5″ slot being on the floor of the case, and place it just right for the screws to go in from the bottom. However, while the cables would have indeed made it harder to place the SSD right, as it was it was surprisingly easy to place it and then really hard to connect the cables after it was in place, being really hard to get my fingers in there and plug them in. Also had to disconnect and reconnect some cables, including connecting some differently, and to move one of the HDDs one slot up, since I now needed all four SATA power connectors I have and the distance between two was smaller than the one between the DVD drive and the first HDD. But I managed to get it all done in the end, though I couldn’t also clean the dust as well as I would have wanted, as my mother apparently took the hairdryer with her, so I just carefully used the vacuum cleaner a bit, not putting it too close and moving quickly, which doesn’t work too well, and in order to get dust out of heat sinks you need something that blows anyway.
The only thing I did that evening was split it in two partitions and copy the stuff from my Games partition to it, swapping drive letters once that was done, so all links for that partition will just point to the SSD. Don’t even have the cloning software, theirs or any other, installed, to move the operating system, but I’m actually considering a fresh install anyway. It’ll sure be hard to do a fresh Windows 7 install now, considering the situation with the updates, but I have nothing but time to lose if I’ll try. I mean to disconnect the HDDs when I’ll do so anyway, which means I’ll be opening the computer again and maybe have another chance to clean it, and maybe also figure out why is there so much vibration from at least one fan now. So I could perhaps download some updates to the SSD, I’ll see about that, then disconnect the HDDs, just install a fresh Windows 7 on the SSD, install any downloaded updates and any others I can manage to install more or less normally, maybe the security software too, though I’m still thinking what to do about that, and then see whether it worked or not. After that I’ll reconnect the HDDs and then either boot on the SSD if I actually finished or on the HDD if I gave up, not really risking anything and being able to just format and try again later if it went badly. But there’s no rush, and I may wait until next month’s Windows updates to try anything, if not even longer.

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